How to Spend a Winter Day in Mar del Plata, Argentina

Mar del Plata beach
Mar del Plata beach | © Pam Lowry / Flickr
Photo of Pam Flores-Lowry
9 August 2018

Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you should scratch this beach town off your list.

A popular destination off the coast of Buenos Aires, Mar del Plata is known for its beautiful beaches—but it has so many other draws as well. From traditional food hunting and theater to tango classes, the city offers a wide array of attractions. Here’s a perfect itinerary for a cold winter day in Mar del Plata.

Start with a traditional breakfast

Some Argentinians only drink mate for breakfast, while others have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and churros in the winter. If you like churros, Manolo is the place to go. They offer churros filled with dulce de leche, chocolate, or custard cream. Manolo has several locations, one of which provides a unique view of the sea. Another favorite spot is La Campiña, located in the city center, which is a café and restaurant that offers many breakfast deals. Enjoy your coffee with alfajores de maizena or regular alfajores (sweet cookies), croissants, toast, or ham and cheese toasted sandwiches. And if you want to try anywhere else, the good news is that coffee places are abundant in the city, so you will always find one!

Orange juice, coffee, and churros | © Pam Flores-Lowry

Get lost in a world of books

Mar del Plata has several libraries downtown where you can check out your favorite books. Biblioteca Municipal Leopoldo Marechal offers books for children and adults, whereas Biblioteca Popular Juventud Moderna stores over 40,000 books about theater, cinema, music, philosophy, and politics, among other subjects. Both libraries offer workshops and classes. For those who prefer buying a book, Mar del Plata is home to over 40 bookstores located all over the city. An outstanding independent bookstore is El Gran Pez, which offers mostly books written by Argentinian and Latin American authors and focuses on alternative independent materials.

Public library | © Hernán A. / Flickr

Head to the ocean for a gorgeous walk

Even in winter, a walk near the sea will revitalize your day. Many locals walk, run, and rollerblade on the coast. Too tired? Sit down and enjoy the view and the sound of the waves. Take a break from all the planned activities for the day to relax by the sea. Even when you’re bundled up, the view will give you plenty to think about.

Walking by the sea | © Pam Flores-Lowry

Fuel up on delicious lunch food

After a good walk by the beach, the perfect way to warm up would be to head inside and enjoy a hot meal at any of Mar del Plata’s popular restaurants. Head to any parrilla for a traditional asado (a highly recommended one is Pampa Mía). Being the home of numerous Italian immigrants, the city also offers typical trattorias like Trattoria Napolitana Vespoli. Another quintessential choice for this beach town is the seafood. Check out the Centro Comercial del Puerto, where you can find numerous restaurant options all in the same spot.

Rabas are fried calamari | © anokarina / Flickr

Soak up culture at the theater

Theaters allow for perfect indoor entertainment on chilly days. Watch a play or a concert at Teatro Auditorium, El Séptimo Fuego, and La Bancaria, among others, or listen to the country’s symphony orchestra. Watch artistically curated movies or performances by national and international musicians at Teatro Auditorium, or delight yourself with performances from local artists at El Séptimo Fuego and La Bancaria.

Traditional dance | © Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación Argentina / Flickr

Get some rest and have a cup of coffee

Take a break from all the activities and have a soothing cup of coffee at any of the traditional coffee houses in Mar del Plata. Locals prefer a cortado, an espresso that has been “cut” with a little bit of milk. Another favorite is tea with pastries or a piece of cake. Saint Jeanne, a hotel and restaurant located in the heart of Güemes neighbourhood, has an unique selection of sweet treats.

Try tango classes

What better way to stay warm than to get your heart pumping? Take some lessons to learn how to tango at Casa Balear and El Argentino. Check out the Mar del Plata Tango Club page to find out about tango events in the city. Mar del Plata Tango Club also provides information about lessons throughout the year. Classes are offered to elementary, intermediate, and advanced students.

Tango class | © Ministerio de Cultura de la Nación Argentina / Flickr

Mull over your day with satisfying dinner and drinks

A tasty way to start reminiscing about the day. Gastropubs in the city usually open from 6 or 7 p.m. and offer a varied menu together with unique craft beers and traditional cocktails. Head to Mar del Plata’s first beer garden and order some delicious food. Bruder Beer Garden has a total of 21 rotating taps which include the best of Argentinian craft beers.

The best burger in Mar del Plata, and craft beer | © Jony Paz / Büder Beer Garden

Test your luck at the casino

Now that you’ve digested your food, get back out there! Start your night by heading to the casino, designed by architect Alejandro Bustillo. Casino Central includes over 140 tables for blackjack, craps, baccarat, and roulette. On a busy night, the casino welcomes over 12,000 guests. Another exciting plan would be to visit local bingo halls in the city center such as Bingo Mar del Plata and Bingo Sol.

Casino | © < Lucas > / Flickr

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